Thank you for 2017 and Happy New Year!

Newsletter 12/2017

ANTI Festival sends a big warm thank you for the year 2017 to all our partners, artists, team members, voluntary assistants and audiences! We wish you Happy Holidays and all the best for the year 2018!

During the past year, ANTI Festival worked in several multidisciplinary projects, both local and international, and organised public events in Kuopio throughout the year:

In April, ANTI and Future DiverCities project contributed to Design Week Kuopio by organising a discussion meeting on co-design, in collaboration with the Design Week.

In the end of August, Kuopio is traditionally full of events, and ANTI took part in the season celebration with 14th PechaKucha Kuopio and open doors event.

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival 2017 took place between 19th and 24th September in Kuopio. The festival brought together artists and audience from across Finland and almost 10 different countries. The festival programme was inspired by the theme of water.

One of the highlights of the festival was the awarding of ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art. The 2017 winner of the Prize is Lebanese Tania El Khoury who will return to Kuopio and present a new commissioned work at ANTI Festival 2018.

We also hosted the second Future DiverCities Lab in Kuopio between 14th and 20th September.

Photo: Pekka Mäkinen – Tomi Paasonen: World Cup Bling Troopers 2016


ANTI Festival 2018

The 17th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018.

We invited artists, working in any field, to propose projects that directly engage with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming. The open call was organised between 16th November and 12th December 2017, and we received 170 proposals from 35 different countries.

For our 2018 festival ANTI is thrilled to announce partnerships with Games for Health Finland and the International Game Developers Association, Kuopio Hub.

anti-12-maria-050

Photo: Pekka Mäkinen – Maria Kärkkäinen: Take me into your arms 2012


ANTI Festival gathered proposals from around the world

Media release 14.12.2017

The 17th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018. We invited artists, working in any field, to propose projects that directly engage with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming. The open call was organised between 16th November and 12th December 2017.

We received 170 proposals from 35 different countries.

The call out shows that ANTI Festival, Kuopio, live art and contemporary art have audiences across the globe, in every continent. Proposals were submitted from the United States and Canada, Brazil, India and Taiwan, Israel and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as well as from several European countries.

Thank you to all the applicants!

The festival programme will be released during the spring and summer 2018.

For more information, contact Elisa Itkonen, elisa@antifestival.com, +358 50 305 2005.

Photo: Pekka Mäkinen. Maria Kärkkäinen: Take me into your arms 2012

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival

Participation, dialogue and exchange: ANTI works with innovative artists on projects that

explore and explode urban space. ANTI began life in 2002. Since then we’ve produced 16 editions of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival and have established a year-round programme of artist residencies and
cultural projects and events.

The festival is held annually in Kuopio, Finland. The city plays host to projects by artists from around the world that inhabit the spaces of public life – homes, shops, city squares, business, forests, lakes – and directly engage communities and audiences in the making and showing of their work. The festival is free to attend.

In collaboration

GFHFinland_logo

SAVONIA_logo+amk_cmyk

IGDA_Finland_Kuopio_lightbg

PT-logo_ilmantaustaa


One week left to submit: Open Call for Proposals 2018

Newsletter 5.12.2017

The 17th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018. We now invite artists, working in any field, to propose projects that directly engage with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming.

A playful engagement with the spaces of Kuopio, ANTI Festival’s host city, has been at the heart of our approach to bringing vital, exciting and surprising contemporary art to this ever receptive and inquisitive community. For 2018 we’re focusing our attentions properly on play and gaming – gaming in both its contemporary sense as an engagement with digital environments but also in a more expanded sense: what games, and what play, as adults, as young people, as children, do we engaged with – what forms does play take, and where and
how to do we encounter it?

We have some clear answers, organised games are played habitually across the world – football, chess, bowls, snooker – all have their professional contexts but all too engender mass engagement and participation. Other forms of play, particularly for adults, have surfaced across the last half-century. Much is discussed around skateboarding and how that practice playfully renegotiates urban space, free-running and parkour have continued the same pursuit. Rural environments, long the space of adventure, journey and leisure, have their associated play activities and in more recent years digital and virtual technologies have created a playing space of incredible scale and value, one to rival, and royally beat, those more passive forms of entertainment.

Play and games, in forms as divergent as any other realm of human activity, sit at the heart of the contemporary experience. Games are in our pockets, on our screens, in our bodies, they are played in and on the city, the landscape, the sea, the globe. They keep us well, they move us, orientate us, challenge us, frustrate us and entertain us. Games and play have become a way – an active way – of understanding the world and each other.


For our 2018 festival ANTI is thrilled to announce partnerships with Games for Health Finland and the International Game Developers Association, Kuopio Hub.


Games for Health Finland is coordinated by the Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

Submitting a Proposal

When proposing your project please take into account that ANTI Festival presents its programme in public space, this includes interior spaces and privately-owned spaces. We do not show projects in traditional cultural spaces and houses thus your proposed project will need to have an integral relationship with the place
in which it is presented.


All proposals must be sent using this electronic form and
written in English.


The form allows a link to be made to online documentation of previous work and for applicants to attach a CV and a maximum of three supporting images. Proposals that do not strictly conform to these guidelines
will not be considered.

We advice the applicants to get familiar with the artistic direction of ANTI Festival by reviewing our
past projects on, for example, our Vimeo page!

The proposal deadline is 12.12.2017 (at the midnight).

Proposed projects may respond to one or more of the following areas:

Play and social space
Play and subjectivity
Play and physical space
Play and wayfinding
Game play as social encounter
Game ‘space’ as site of social exploration
Play and low/no technology
Play and technology
Virtual play
Play and wellbeing
Public play environments
Games, engagement and participation
Professionalised play
Play and leisure
Play and competition
Cross-generational play

Further information: info@antifestival.com

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival

Participation, dialogue and exchange: ANTI works with innovative artists on projects that
explore and explode urban space.

ANTI began life in 2002. Since then we’ve produced 16 editions of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival and have established a year-round programme of artist residencies and cultural projects and events.

The festival is held annually in Kuopio, Finland. The city plays host to projects by artists from around the world that inhabit the spaces of public life – homes, shops, city squares, business, forests, lakes – and directly engage communities and audiences in the making and showing of their work. The festival is free to attend.

In collaboration with

GFHFinland_logo

SAVONIA_logo+amk_cmyk

IGDA_Finland_Kuopio_lightbg

PT-logo_ilmantaustaa


Newsletter 11/2017

ANTI taking part in multidisciplinary discussions

ANTI Festival is a part of several multidisciplinary networks and projects, both international and national. One of our most important international collaboration projects is Future DiverCities – an initiative of 10 cultural partners in Europe and Canada funded by Creative Europe programme.

ANTI is also contributing to the New Start Finland! project which is a part of the larger research programme PROMEQ – Inclusive Promotion of Health and Wellbeing (2016-2019).

In December, the two projects are taking ANTI to public forums and discussion meetings, you can read more about below. Both events are open to all and free to attend. Welcome!


Co-Creation in Community Services for Immigrants – New Start Finland! forum in Kuopio

Monday 11th December 2017
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio campus, Tietoteknia, auditorium (Savilahdentie 6, Kuopio)

New Start Finland! study has benchmarked the quality of life of new immigrants in Eastern Finland and piloted the use of co-creation in resettlement services for individual immigrants in regional communities.

ANTI Festival contributed to New Start Finland! with the Kuopio Encounters pilot; through contemporary arts practices, we aimed at promoting social participation among new immigrants. In the New Start Finland! Forum, festival manager Elisa Itkonen will reflect on the Kuopio Encounters pilot.

Working languages are Finnish and English. Full programme and registration guidelines on the website of University of Eastern Finland!

Promeq_NewStartFinland_logo


Creative Europe seminar in Helsinki

Thursday 14th December 2017
Korjaamo, (Töölönkatu 51, Helsinki)

The Creative Europe desk in Finland invites public to learn about Creative Europe projects and Finnish organisations behind them. ANTI Festival’s Artistic Director – Senior Producer Johanna Tuukkanen will present ANTI Festival and the Future DiverCities project in the event.

Full programme and registration guidelines online!

ImprimirPrint


Open Call for Proposals – submit now!

The 17th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018. We now invite artists, working in any field, to propose projects that directly engage with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming.

All proposals must be sent using an electronic form and written in English.
Full application guidelines on our website!

The proposal deadline is 12.12.2017 (at the midnight).

anti-12-maria-050


Video memories from ANTI Festival 2017

Did you miss ANTI Festival this year? You attended the festival but didn’t have time to see all the artworks? See our collection of videos online! We document all the festival works, and the videos are created by Kim Saarinen.

See for example, Global Flood by Milla and Pertti Martikainen and Cleansing Water by River Lin!

We’ll be adding more videos to our Vimeo page during the next few weeks!

Photos: Pekka Mäkinen


Play, games and gaming driving ANTI Festival 2018 – Open Call for Proposals

Media release 16.11.2017

The 17th edition of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival will take place between 25th and 30th September 2018. We now invite artists, working in any field, to propose projects that directly engage with ideas of play, playfulness, games and gaming.

A playful engagement with the spaces of Kuopio, ANTI Festival’s host city, has been at the heart of our approach to bringing vital, exciting and surprising contemporary art to this ever receptive and inquisitive community. For 2018 we’re focusing our attentions properly on play and gaming – gaming in both its contemporary sense as an engagement with digital environments but also in a more expanded sense: what games, and what play, as adults, as young people, as children, do we engaged with – what forms does play take, and where and
how to do we encounter it?

We have some clear answers, organised games are played habitually across the world – football, chess, bowls, snooker – all have their professional contexts but all too engender mass engagement and participation. Other forms of play, particularly for adults, have surfaced across the last half-century. Much is discussed around skateboarding and how that practice playfully renegotiates urban space, free-running and parkour have continued the same pursuit. Rural environments, long the space of adventure, journey and leisure, have their associated play activities and in more recent years digital and virtual technologies have created a playing space of incredible scale and value, one to rival, and royally beat, those more passive forms of entertainment.

Play and games, in forms as divergent as any other realm of human activity, sit at the heart of the contemporary experience. Games are in our pockets, on our screens, in our bodies, they are played in and on the city, the landscape, the sea, the globe. They keep us well, they move us, orientate us, challenge us, frustrate us and entertain us. Games and play have become a way – an active way – of understanding the world and each other.


For our 2018 festival ANTI is thrilled to announce partnerships with Games for Health Finland and the International Game Developers Association, Kuopio Hub.


Games for Health Finland is coordinated by the Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

Submitting a Proposal

When proposing your project please take into account that ANTI Festival presents its programme in public space, this includes interior spaces and privately-owned spaces. We do not show projects in traditional cultural spaces and houses thus your proposed project will need to have an integral relationship with the place
in which it is presented.


All proposals must be sent using this electronic form and
written in English.


The form allows a link to be made to online documentation of previous work and for applicants to attach a CV and a maximum of three supporting images. Proposals that do not strictly conform to these guidelines
will not be considered.

We advice the applicants to get familiar with the artistic direction of ANTI Festival by reviewing our
past projects on, for example, our Vimeo page!

The proposal deadline is 12.12.2017 (at the midnight in Finnish time).

Proposed projects may respond to one or more of the following areas:

Play and social space
Play and subjectivity
Play and physical space
Play and wayfinding
Game play as social encounter
Game ‘space’ as site of social exploration
Play and low/no technology
Play and technology
Virtual play
Play and wellbeing
Public play environments
Games, engagement and participation
Professionalised play
Play and leisure
Play and competition
Cross-generational play

Further information: info@antifestival.com

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival

Participation, dialogue and exchange: ANTI works with innovative artists on projects that
explore and explode urban space.

ANTI began life in 2002. Since then we’ve produced 16 editions of ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival and have established a year-round programme of artist residencies and cultural projects and events.

The festival is held annually in Kuopio, Finland. The city plays host to projects by artists from around the world that inhabit the spaces of public life – homes, shops, city squares, business, forests, lakes – and directly engage communities and audiences in the making and showing of their work. The festival is free to attend.

In collaboration with

GFHFinland_logo

SAVONIA_logo+amk_cmyk

IGDA_Finland_Kuopio_lightbg

PT-logo_ilmantaustaa


Newsletter 10/2017 – From ANTI with Love

The 3rd video postcard from videographer Kim Saarinen and ANTI Festival 2017 takes us back to touching experiences, multicultural encounters and moments of peace and quiet and purification;
outstanding artworks by the water!

The works on the video:

French & Mottershead (UK): Waterborne (in the image)
River Lin (TW): Cleansing Service
Ernest Truely (US) & New Start Finland: Kuopio Encounters
Terike Haapoja (FI): Gravitation
Mark Pozlep (SI): Island
Kaaos Company (FI): Pond


Artefact film premiering in Australia

The Artefact film was premiered at ANTI Festival 2017, and the Australian premiere will be experienced on 3rd November 2017 in ACMI’s ART + FILM programme in Melbourne!

In 2016, the Australian artists Willoh S. Weiland and JR Brennan created the unforgettable production Artefact, performed with hundreds of local participants in Kuopio. The work has now been edited into a remarkable film!

The Artefact film has been created by collaborators Weiland and Brennan with Finnish editor and ANTI Festival’s well respected videographer Kim Saarinen!

Willoh S. Weiland & JR Brennan (AU): Artefact - Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
Willoh S. Weiland & JR Brennan (AU): Artefact

Artefact is a co-production by ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival and Aphids Events. The project is supported by the Saastamoinen Foundation and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts and the HIAP residency program, Helsinki. The Artefact film screening is supported by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria.


Kuopio Lab #2: Back to the Pinari Youth Center

Communications manager Virna Setta visited the Future DiverCities Lab in Kuopio’s Petonen and reports on the wild and warm moments of the Lab at the Future DiverCities website.

Photo: Pekka Mäkinen

The artists working in the Kuopio Lab were Joseph O’Farrell (AU), Nastja Säde Rönkkö (FI), Davor Sanvincenti (HR) and Anne Roquigny (FR) and the local associate artists Anniina Aunola, Emma Fält,
Eerika Jalasaho and Ilkka Kivelä.


Open Calls for Artists

While waiting for the open call for ANTI Festival 2018, check out the open calls
of our partners around the world!

SITUATE Arts Lab

ANTI Festival is a partner festival of the Australian SITUATE Art in Festivals. SITUATE supports outstanding early career artists and creative practitioners to develop new experimental artworks for the festival environment.

Apply to SITUATE Artst Lab ONLINE by 27th November 2017! For Australian artists only.

The purpose of the SITUATE Arts Lab is to support artists in developing strong and well-resolved project ideas and concepts that respond to a variety of festival sites, audiences, conditions and economies.

www.situate.org.au

International Call for Projects Chroniques 2018

Seconde Nature, our partner in Future DiverCities project, has opened a call for projects to be presented as a part of the Chroniques 2018 programme.

Artists and projects using digital tools and technologies in different forms, and projects responding to the theme of “Levitation” are encouraged to apply by 17th December 2017.

Application guidelines HERE! For artists from around the world.

www.chronique-s.org

 

All photos by Pekka Mäkinen.

ANTI2017_logot_Gruppo2


Newsletter 9/2017

Thank you for ANTI Festival 2017!

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival took place between 19th and 24th September 2017 in Kuopio, Finland. The festival brought together artists and audience from across Finland and almost 10 different countries.

13 000 participants attended festival events in Kuopio and over 30 000 people followed us on social media.

Thank you to the festival artists, staff members, volunteers, partners, audience members –
everyone who was involved!

In the image: River Lin (TW): Cleansing Service


Return to the festival through images!

Videographer Kim Saarinen and photographer Pekka Mäkinen documented the festival events
during the festival week.

See the best video clips on our Vimeo page!
More amazing images below and on our Facebook page!

Many festival guests posted images and videos of the festival with #antifestival2017 !

Gwendoline Robin (BE): Cratère n°6899 - Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
Gwendoline Robin (BE): Cratère n°6899

 

 French & Mottershead (UK): Waterborne - Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
French & Mottershead (UK): Waterborne

 

Instant Dissidence (UK): Dancing With Strangers: From Calais to Finland
Instant Dissidence (UK): Dancing With Strangers: From Calais to Finland

 

Terike Haapoja (FI): Luonnoksia vapaudesta I - Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
Terike Haapoja (FI): Luonnoksia vapaudesta I

 

Terike Haapoja (FI): Gravitation
Terike Haapoja (FI): Gravitation

 

Ernest Truely (US) & New Start Finland: Kuopio Encounters
Ernest Truely (US) & New Start Finland: Kuopio Encounters

 

Anouska Samms & Sofia Pancucci-McQueen (UK): The Baths
Anouska Samms & Sofia Pancucci-McQueen (UK): The Baths

 

Mark Požlep (SI): Saari
Mark Požlep (SI): Saari

 

Kaaos Company: Pond
Kaaos Company: Pond

 

Joseph O’Farrell / JOF (AU): 10 Minute Dance Parties!
Joseph O’Farrell / JOF (AU): 10 Minute Dance Parties!

 

Minty Donald & Nick Millar (UK): Watermeets Kuopio
Minty Donald & Nick Millar (UK): Watermeets Kuopio

 

Milla & Pertti Martikainen (FI): Global Flood
Milla & Pertti Martikainen (FI): Global Flood

 

Alan Dunn & Jeff Young (UK): Music for the Williamson Tunnels: a collection of the sound of dripping water
Alan Dunn & Jeff Young (UK): Music for the Williamson Tunnels: a collection of the sound of dripping water – Photo: Piia Jokivarsi

 

A rare double CD curated in 2008 by artists Alan Dunn and Jeff Young distributed around the festival events! Piia Jokivarsi and Emmi Tuppurainen photographer each recipient!


ANTI Prize Party & ANTI-humu - River Lin & Tania El Khoury
ANTI Prize Party & ANTI-humu – River Lin & Tania El Khoury

Tania El Khoury is the 2017 winner of ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art!


Willoh S. Weiland & JR Brennan (AU) & työryhmä: Artefact (elokuva) & Festivaalin avajaiset
Willoh S. Weiland & JR Brennan (AU) & crew: Artefact (film) & Festival Opening

 

Future DiverCities Lab #2
Future DiverCities Lab #2

 

Future DiverCities Lab #2 with the artists Joseph O’Farrel (AU), Nastja Säde Rönkkö (FI), Davor Sanvincenti (HR), Anne Roquigny (FR), Anniina Aunola (FI), Emma Fält (FI), Eerika Jalasaho (FI) and Ilkka Kivelä (FI).

Photos above, unless otherwise mentioned, by Pekka Mäkinen.

ANTI2017_logot_Gruppo2


Thank you for ANTI Festival 2017!

ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival took place between 19th and 24th September 2017 in Kuopio, Finland. The festival brought together artists and audience from across Finland and almost 10 different countries.

13 000 participants attended festival events in Kuopio and over 30 000 people followed us on social media.

Thank you to the festival artists, staff members, volunteers, partners, audience members – everyone who was involved!

Joseph O'Farrell: 10 MINUTE DANCE PARTIES! - Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
Joseph O’Farrell: 10 MINUTE DANCE PARTIES! – Photo: Pekka Mäkinen

ANTI in images

Videographer Kim Saarinen and photographer Pekka Mäkinen documented the festival events during the festival week.

See the best video clips on our Vimeo Page! More amazing images can be found on our Facebook Page. See, for example, Best of ANTI 2017!

More information

Elisa Itkonen, elisa@antifestival.com, +358 50 305 2005


Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury announced winner of ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art

Media release 23.9.2017

Tania El Khoury is the winner of the 2017 ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art, announced at the ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival in Kuopio, Finland (Saturday 23rd September 2017).

The Prize – now in its 4th year – is the world’s only International Prize for Live Art, and at €30,000 it is also one of the richest in the arts, underlining the importance of live art.

The Lebanese artist beat three other outstanding contemporary artists from across the globe who were all competing for the top prize – Sethembile Msezane (South Africa), The vacuum cleaner (UK) and Alexandra Pirici (Romania).

Tania was picked as the winner by a jury consisting of international art professionals. In the Chair is Fiona Winning, formerly the Head of Programming at the Sydney Opera House, alongside Lois Keidan (co-founder of the Live Art Development Agency, previously Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London) and Paris-based Taiwanese artist and curator, River Lin.

Jury Chair Fiona Winning explains why they picked Tania as the winner:

“The sensitivity of this artist’s work in orchestrating audience experience is extraordinary. It stays with us, is sometimes literally written onto us. She has foregrounded some of the burning questions of our time by creating resonant experiences that generate conversation and exchange. Tania’s work is urgently needed and we thank her for it.”

Tania El Khoury receives a cash prize of €15,000 and the same amount in the form of a production grant for bringing a new work to the ANTI Festival in 2018.


Tania El Khoury (LB)

Tania El Khoury is a feminist Arab performance-maker based in London and Beirut, whose work has consistently challenged the perceptions and narratives of the West about the Arab world, particularly in relation to women.

Her work has been shown across five continents, in spaces ranging from museums to cable cars. Previous performances include Jarideh, an intervention in a public space which asked audience members to identify the most suspicious person present, according to criteria listed in a Metropolitan Police awareness report and Maybe If You Choreograph Me, You Will Feel Better, which won both the Total Theatre award for innovation and the Arches Brick award when it was presented in Edinburgh in 2011.

Tania is currently working on a practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, focusing on interactive Live Art after the Arab uprisings

Tania El Khoury - Photo: Ibrahim Fakhri
Tania El Khoury – Photo: Ibrahim Fakhri
www.taniaelkhoury.com

Commenting on her win, Tania said in Kuopio:

“I am very excited and deeply honoured to receive this award. It means a lot to be recognised by such an inspiring and accomplished group of jury members. I’m very much looking forward to making work with ANTI Festival; I know I will feel at home in such a space that encourages the intertwining of art and politics.”


More information

on our website and Elisa Itkonen, elisa@antifestival, +358 50 305 2005.

Press photos: antifestival.com/media

Images

River Lin & Tania El Khoury – Photo: Pekka Mäkinen
Tania El Khoury – Photo: Ibrahim Fakhri

ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art funded by:

sas_logo_1


ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art – Jury Statement 2017

As Jury members of this extraordinary and unique prize, we begin with an expression of our admiration and respect for all the 2017 shortlisted artists.

Tania El Khoury, Sethembile Msezane, Alexandra Pirici and The vacuum cleaner, your diverse range of experiences and practices – created across and between social, environmental and political contexts is exemplary. Your sophisticated work – whether created for public space, in collaboration with institutions, or as activism at the frontline of the refugee crisis or mental health services demonstrates that Live Art is a powerful platform for artists to talk about the urgent issues of our time. To ask audiences to re-think, to re-imagine, and to make demands.

Each of these four artists, whether creating work in South Africa, Europe, the Middle East or the UK, rigorously analyses and engages with their respective political landscapes to dig, to strip back, to provoke, to create a space for dissent and anger. Each creates work that is participatory, that fundamentally invites conversation – using different pathways to exchange, reflect and contest.

Collectively, their practice is testament to what Live Art can do – who it can speak for and with. People we don’t or can’t see in the public domain, voices we don’t hear or are misinterpreted or obscured in our culture.

While each of these artists creates aesthetically and formally very different works, the jury recognized a recurring and urgent project to address and contest the formal practice and memorialization, and of power. To explore the corporeality of memory. To ask who is remembered, why and how? And in turn, who is not?

Each of the artists uses intimacy and interaction as strategies to ask these and other burning issues of our time. While some draw on their own lived experiences as core material for their work, they all call on ethical research and collaborative models to create resonant truthful work.

They trust their audiences and are careful to create the conditions in which their audiences trust the work. All display extraordinary courage in the public realm. As the activist John Jordan would say their work is ‘not about politics it is politics’.

As a Jury, we’ve been delighted to be introduced to or get to understand more deeply each of these artists’ practice.  It’s been a privilege and an honour to read the artists’ own reflections on their work offering precious insights into their process.

Sethembile Msezane’s work has a singular legible focus – to reinscribe black South African women into public space and history as a counterpoint to ‘official’ patriarchal, British colonial and Afrikaner nationalist representations in public sculpture and monuments. Her work, created through a series of live actions and tableaux in public space, extends to a series of photographic images – artifacts that in turn create a new visual language of self-representation and a repositioning of the place of black women in a nation’s history and political economy. It is courageous work and to be nominated at this stage of her career is testament to the strength of practice.

Alexandra Pirici’s work critiques the environment and impulses around the display of formal, traditional art and its physical contexts. Using the body as a vehicle to investigate time – past and present, she creates choreographic responses and interventions in galleries and public spaces. Her sensitivity to the protocols of public spaces as she intervenes in them engenders a delicate dialogue. Her live work is an interpretation or a re-inhabiting, of historical sensibility, and institutionalism and gives formal propriety to our sense of culture, expression and creativity. Her work critiques power and monumentalism directly – it is stripped back, unadorned and quiet.

The vacuum cleaner’s activist practice asks us to re-consider the efficacy of art itself – what can or should it do? What, as artists, are our social responsibilities now? There is an ethical question at the heart of this work – an ethics of engagement and responsibility. He uses his own experiences of precarious mental health as the point of departure for his work to engage with wider realities. Recently he his direct activist art operating outside the system shifted to collaborate with health service providers, their users and institutions to redesign ‘ideal’ spatial and aesthetic places for care. This engagement with the people at the centre of a wicked problem – as a means to shift old thinking and practice has had significant impact on individuals and institutional practice. In a world where mental health issues were until recently taboo, he has been on the right side of history – creating work and interventions that are simultaneously critical, playful and profound.

Tania El Khoury orchestrates live experiences in an exquisite relationship between content and form. She has a sophisticated and delicate relationship with the individuals and communities touched or terrorized by violent, politically driven unrest. She works with people’s stories to share/restore the voice of individuals and communities. Her relationships with the subjects of her work, her trusted collaborators – the bereaved or the displaced, are deeply ethical and inclusive. Tania in turn invests enormous generosity and trust in her audiences. Whether hearing from the dead as we nestle into dirt or having our inner arm marked with journeys unimaginable to most, this artist orchestrates experiences that are intimate, visceral and sensory. Where liveness is embodied through the audience experience.

So, Alexandra, James, Sethembile and Tania, the job of selecting a single winner has been incredibly hard. Your work is astonishing. It is brave and intelligent, connected to the contemporary world, finding new forms, new collaborators and audiences, new sites and contexts for intervention.

After a lot of discussion, a single winner has emerged. For making artworks on the right side of history, that seek to mark us with the experiences of others, lightly but nevertheless indelibly, for creating intimate, emotional and ethical live experiences the 2017 ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art goes to Tania El Khoury.

The sensitivity of Tania’s work in orchestrating audience experience is extraordinary. It stays with us, is sometimes literally written onto us. She has foregrounded some of the burning questions of our time by creating resonant experiences that generate conversation and exchange. She creates acts of remembering, of marking, of ourselves in the position of others.

Tania says in her artist statement that while activism knows its endpoint, a live artist, does not –suggesting her process is open-ended and exploratory. We congratulate her on her detailed exploration and thank her for the works created so far. This award will facilitate further work and we look forward to seeing it.

In closing, the Jury members – ­Lois Keidan, River Lin and Fiona Winning would like to congratulate all the shortlisted artists Sethembile Msezane, Alexandra Pirici, The vacuum cleaner and Tania El Khoury.  Your practice is urgently needed, deeply appreciated by this jury, and rightfully celebrated around the world.

We also sincerely thank both the ANTI Festival and the Saastamoinen Foundation for their vision and ongoing support in creating this unique international Prize for Live Art. In this, its fourth year, we can see the increased visibility of both award winners and shortlisted artists. As a sector, we sincerely thank you for that. Art making is a precarious existence, so recognition backed up with real support is immensely appreciated by live artists and their audiences. Thank you.

Fiona Winning (chair)
Lois Keidan
River Lin